For the past few days, there have been numerous rumors going on about Maurizio Sarri’s future at Chelsea. Multiple reports have said that Juventus are interested in bringing Sarri back to Italy while there seems to be interest from clubs like Roma and Inter Milan as well.
Sarri Isn’t Going Anywhere
Firstly, Sarri himself has repeatedly said that he likes English Premier League and he wants to stay here for a long time. If there is one thing everyone agrees on Sarri, it’s that he’s a straight shooter. He doesn’t like to be ambiguous and says whatever he honestly thinks. So when he said that he wants to stay, I believe he meant it.
Secondly, if you think about it from Sarri’s POV, it doesn’t make any sense at all. The bond between Sarri and Napoli fans is still very strong. Sarri is revered by Napoli fans so much so that some Napoli fans came to see Chelsea’s Europa League semifinal game against Eintracht Frankfurt. You think he’s going to join Napoli’ direct rivals Juventus or other sides that compete against Napoli? Please tell me you’re joking. It’s like betting on Pochettino to become the coach of Barcelona. Never gonna happen.
On the other hand, few Chelsea fans on Twitter want Sarri out for reasons that don’t really make sense to me. I want to take a look at all their claims and see if I can understand their logic.
Initially, I wanted to write this in one sitting. Unfortunately, due to time constraints, I have decided to divide this into multiple posts.
Claim 1: Sarri Doesn’t Trust Youth
Mostly people who want Sarri out often claim that Sarri never trusts young players no matter how good they are. Is this true? Let’s take a look.
People often cite Guardiola and Klopp as strong advocates of youth players. Sarri, on the other hand, is termed as someone who hates youth. However, the truth is far from it. Between Chelsea, Man City and Liverpool only one team has fielded three academy players for the 2018-19 season. Any guesses?
Chelsea it is.
Sarri has given 4369 minutes to three of the Chelsea’s academy players. Meanwhile, Klopp has used Trent Alexander Arnold for 3299 minutes (credits to Klopp). Pep Guardiola has fielded only one academy player which is Phil Foden and played him for 450 minutes.
Now, I have seen people complain that these minutes are not enough and Sarri should’ve played them from the start of the season. Oh, give him a break. He arrived in a foreign country and needed time to settle. Though he was a bit dogmatic in the beginning, he did change his approach and adapted very nicely. Gradually, he has made RLC and CHO starters and it’s a shame that they both got injured at this crucial time.
Also, don’t forget, RLC is injury-prone, CHO had two seniors in his position and Christensen played second fiddle to Rudiger who has had a very good season apart from a few mistakes.
Given the fact that Chelsea players notoriously have had the power to get a manager sacked when things get sour, do you think it would’ve been easy for Sarri to play CHO instead of Willian or Pedro straight away after arriving in England? It’s not easy for a coach to make decisions in these kind of situations.
If you still think he should’ve played more youth, just think how many youth players regularly played under Conte or even Mourinho before that. Careful what you wish for, Chelsea fans!
Next up, claim # 2. Sarri plays boring football. How true is this? Look out for the next part.